Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Worry isn't worth $20

Intriguing post title, isn't it? Well, here's the story behind it. Yesterday I bought a new phone with some of our tax return money. Out of all the things I was considering, it seemed a good choice - not because I needed a new phone, but because my current phone plan is around $50 a month, and this phone is for one of those no-contract service providers and will end up being only $30 a month (and I'll have texting!). So it was sort of an investment intended to give us an extra $20 a month, which is going to be really important now that we're going to be kind of tight living off Wes's income.

Anyway. I was very excited... until I got home and went online to activate the phone. While I was online an ad popped up at the top of my screen - the same phone was on sale if you bought it on the internet - $20 less. (I paid $60 for the phone.)

$20! That's a lot for us right now. I considered taking the phone back, but it was already late and I didn't want to go the next day because then I'd probably have to take Kaira and Rachel with me and it would take quite a while... plus I'd miss out on time with my husband (or as it turned out, a trip to the grocery store so my husband could sleep in - he wasn't feeling well so I think he really appreciated that).

But I asked Wes what he thought, and he said not to worry about it - just to go ahead and activate the phone. So I did.

And then this morning I was online and they had a smartphone for the same service provider - it was on sale, too (if you bought it online), and it was $50 off it's regular price. With the sale price, the smartphone would have been $10 cheaper than the one I bought!

I started kind of wishing I'd waited - but the truth was, I didn't know about the internet sale until after I purchased the phone. I was just making the best decision I could with the information I had at the time. So feeling guilty about it didn't really make sense.

And I wasn't only feeling guilty - I kind of started coveting the nicer phone. Until I caught myself. What the heck? The phone I bought was already way nicer than any phone I had ever owned, and I was still going to be saving $20 a month on my phone bill. Why was I investing so much mental energy on being negative - worrying and regretting and coveting a better phone - when I had gotten a great deal and a great phone?

I told myself - I would gladly pay much more than $20 to take all the worries and regrets and covetous thoughts out of my life. So why am I worrying over $20? So what if I could have saved it? I didn't know at the time. And I still got a great deal - I was perfectly happy with it until I started comparing it with something else. I think that was the main thing - it kind of reminded me of Jesus' parable about the workers who worked all day getting paid the same amount as the ones who were hired in the afternoon and only worked a few hours. The ones who worked all day were happy with what they had... until they compared it with something else.

So, lesson learned. Keep my eyes on where I am and what I have, and have a thankful heart. Worry isn't worth $20. Or maybe I should rephrase that - $20 isn't worth worrying about.

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